The Institute of Public Affairs presents The Heretic: Inside Peter Ridd’s fight for freedom of speech on climate change.
The Heretic is an insiders’ account of Peter Ridd’s ongoing legal battle with James Cook University. It tells the story of why Peter spoke out on the bad science surrounding climate change and the Great Barrier Reef, the extraordinary lengths that James Cook University went to silence him, and how Peter fought back in court.
Written and presented by IPA Director of Policy Gideon Rozner, The Heretic series draws on extensive interviews with Peter’s colleagues, legal team and former students, as well as journalists, commentators, union leaders, IPA staff and of course Peter himself.
Tune in and listen to the fascinating story of how Dr Peter Ridd took on the academic establishment, and won.
IPA Members will have access to extended content, as well as updates on the case and exclusive events, including a special IPA Town Hall Talk event with Peter Ridd. To become an IPA member click here now.
Episode 1: ‘The Truth about the Reef’
In the first episode of The Heretic, we meet Dr Peter Ridd – a marine geophysicist, lifelong environmentalist and expert on the Great Barrier Reef – and hear about why the conventional wisdom that ‘climate change is killing the reef’ may very well be completely wrong. Peter explains why he spoke out against reef science coming out of his then-employer, James Cook University, and recalls the first complaints raised about him.
We’ll also hear more about climate change from the IPA’s Dr Jennifer Marohasy, and from Professor David Vaux of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute about problems with a lot of scientific research in Australia.
Episode 2: ‘Unfree Speech’
A controversial chapter in the IPA’s Climate Change: The Facts and subsequent interview on Sky News triggers a new round of ‘disciplinary proceedings’ with James Cook University, and Peter faces months of warnings, censures, gag orders and procedurally-dubious ‘star chambers’, culminating in his unlawful sacking from JCU.
We’ll also hear from Anne Carter, wife of the late Bob Carter, who was also hounded out of JCU for his views on climate change, and Michael McNally, Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union Queensland, who explains that suppression of intellectual freedom at Australian universities is more common than we think.
Episode 3: ‘Peter versus Goliath’
Peter decides to fight back and, with the help of the Institute of Public Affairs, a legal team is assembled. After a dramatic showdown in the Federal Circuit Court, Peter wins on every count, but unbelievably, James Cook University doubles down, launching an appeal.
Listen to this real-life courtroom drama, with interviews from Peter’s lawyers, journalists covering the case, and others who sat in the courtroom to show their support.